Oct 27, 2017

Falling Forward - Learning from our challenges

2015 Graduation at Projeto Karanba
2015 Graduation at Projeto Karanba

This project report is a submission to GlobalGiving's 2017 Fail Forward Contest, where organizations are asked to share a story of when they tried something new that didn't go as planned and how they learned from it. Enjoy!               

Dream Learn Work has been focused in educating and qualifying young adults since its foundation over ten years ago. During the last decade we had many dreams, a lot of learning and hard work, with plenty of success and many challenges. It is very important to us that we keep developing and learning from our failures, always with focus on improving the support we give to our participants.

The dream of assisting young Brazilians in acquiring professional qualifications started with full classes in only one technical area. Meaning, 35 students doing a Petroleum and Gas vocational training course, for example. This was great, but we soon realised that we had a very high dropout rate - over 60% of our students didn’t finish the courses - and many that finished their training did not want to work in the technical areas they were qualified for.

We had to adapt and change. Instead of offering predetermined opportunities, we learned to listen to our participants and their aspirations, growing the range of study areas. This means that each participant follows their own educational path. Before we offered training in primarily skilled-trade technical subjects, now we offer courses in areas such as administration, communication and gastronomy, being able to provide the best suited training for each participant.

At the same time, Dream Learn Work developed a training model that all participants need to follow. This means that participants now start at level 1, which are introductory courses, giving basic knowledge and assessing skills and motivation; followed by level 2 courses that are longer in duration, and aim to prepare for an entry level position at a company; after completion of level 1 and 2, students proceed to a level 3 vocational training course that last between 12 and 24 months, being able to apply for trainee positions. Participants need to demonstrate motivation and dedication to complete each level and go to the next. Low drop-out rates and better allocation of funds are concrete results of the model, as the participants are more engaged and finish each phase of their training.

Since we changed the way we operate, our completion rate has consistently improved, reaching 88% in 2014, just over 90% in 2015 and 94% in 2016 - we have high hopes for 2017! This is the result of our team determination in making it work for the young people we assist, improving completion rates and, consequently, their perspectives in finding formal employment and developing further.



2015 Graduation at Instituto Bola Pra Frente
2015 Graduation at Instituto Bola Pra Frente
2016 Graduation at Abrigo Rainha Silva
2016 Graduation at Abrigo Rainha Silva
2016 Graduation in Deodoro
2016 Graduation in Deodoro

Links:

Sep 29, 2017

Dream Learn Work 1st Report on GlobalGiving

Some of our participants
Some of our participants

Dream Learn Work’s mission is to give youth from less developed areas opportunities for a better future through education and employment.

About us

Dream Learn Work (DLW) was created by representatives of Norwegian companies operating in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2006, six companies came together to develop a social program. Their goal was to address the shortage of skilled labour and, at the same time, create social impact by changing young lives for the better through education.

Audience

Young adults between 18 and 25 years old.

Location

Our office is located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. However, we recruit our participants through local social projects that operate in less developed suburbs of Rio de Janeiro city and also in São Gonçalo,  Itaboraí, and Niterói, neighbouring cities in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

How we work

We recruit participants from social projects that contribute in the completion of basic education and the development of life skills. Dream Learn Work offers the next step: professional skills development and the support to enter the formal job market. We do this by organizing activities and events to help young people to dream of a better future through education (DREAM). We sponsor vocational training at recognized educational institutions, using our experience based training model (LEARN). In order to close the cycle we also organize work related activities, with the support and collaboration of corporate partners, bringing participants closer to the labour market (WORK).  

Since 2009, over 600 young people had the opportunity to acquire professional qualifications through us. Today we have 97 active students that had their educational path established based on their dreams, interests and abilities. These young adults are now enrolled in professional qualification courses and vocational training in a diversity of areas.

GlobalGiving project: Vocational Training for 10 Young People in Brazil

The start

Dream Learn Work has developed a model for training that all participants need to follow. They need to demonstrate motivation and dedication to complete each level and proceed to the next. Each level represents the completion of a training course. Courses are in different areas, and each participant follows their own educational journey. Low drop-out rates and better allocation of funds are concrete results of the model, as the participants are more engaged and complete each phase of their training. Based on our experience we have selected levels 1, 2 and 3 courses and calculated the average cost for each level and that is how we got to $7,360 and ten young people.

Objective of our GlobalGiving project and campaign

The objective of this project was to raise $7,360 in funds to help more young Brazilians, securing a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving website in the process. The benefits of being on GlobalGiving include having access to their fundraising toolkit and training, being able to develop projects and attract more and recurring donors.

Results so far

First and foremost, we have been successful in securing a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving site, as we have reached the five thousand dollars threshold from +40 donors, gaining a lot of experience in planning and executing a crowdfunding campaign. Secondly, we raised funds to secure a great number of courses. As funds become available to us by the end of October, our team will be posting reports on the progress of students supported by this campaign on a regular basis.

Future

Just before the end of the campaign we have achieved over 90% of our goal. When a project reaches its funding goal, GlobalGiving recommends that we increase our target, so we can carry on receiving. We will be doubling the project amount shortly. This doesn't mean that we are not successful, but that we have achieved a great deal and that we can do so much more! This has been an amazing learning experience to our team and will result in better prepared young Brazilians.

Thank you all for believing and supporting us!

Deodoro neighborhood
Deodoro neighborhood
Recruitment meeting at our NGO partner Karanba
Recruitment meeting at our NGO partner Karanba
My Life, My Dream workshop
My Life, My Dream workshop
Samuel at his vocational training course
Samuel at his vocational training course
Marcelo at work at VARD shipyard
Marcelo at work at VARD shipyard

Links:

 
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